Training for in‐home psychiatric disability support workers
The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice
Article publication date: 29 March 2013
Support workers who provide in‐home support to people with psychiatric disability are becoming a significant part of the mental health workforce. Research is needed to establish the optimum level and content of training they need to effectively carry out their role.
This paper reports on this paper is to draw on the results of a survey of 104 support workers and interviews with 18 support workers and eight managers in Queensland, Australia, who provide in‐home support for people with psychiatric disability. The authors describe the training undertaken by these workers and their perceptions of the adequacy of this training in relation to the challenges of their work.
The majority of support workers felt they had adequate training, though many expressed the desire to know more about mental illness symptoms, medications and the concept of recovery. Support workers nominated motivating their clients and managing challenging behaviour as the most difficult aspect of the job. Future training offered to these workers needs to focus on increasing knowledge about mental illness and the concept of recovery, and supporting them in their work with clients who have low levels of motivation and/or challenging behaviours. Access to professional supervision may also be of benefit.
This paper adds to knowledge about the training needs of support workers who provide in‐home support to people with psychiatric disability. These findings will be useful for practitioners and decision makers who are considering the training needs of this group.
Shepherd, N. and Meehan, T. (2013), "Training for in‐home psychiatric disability support workers", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 8 No. 1, pp. 35-44. https://doi.org/10.1108/17556221311308014
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